No strict writing format required! They could choose from a wide variety of essay prompts such as what they think Heaven will be like, who their greatest role model is or what trip/ location has most impacted them. We had two winners! Check out these essays by middle school writing wizards!
The Wisest Talking Donut
I’ve traveled on an assortment of great vacations, as I’m sure most Americans have. However, there is one place I go to, usually twice a year now, that is not only a lot of fun, but also has the ability to make you feel closer to God than anywhere else. This place is Pine Cove. Pine Cove has multiple youth, family, and day camps. All the camps share the same mission however. This mission, posted in many places throughout the camps is, “Pine Cove exists to be used by God and to transform the lives of people for purposes.” I’ve experienced this mission in practice multiple items, but the most prominent example was at one of Pine Cove’s family camps, my favorite, called the Woods. I was in particular need of the life and stronger faith that Pine Cove broadcasts to everyone around them, because my parents had announced earlier in the summer that they were getting a divorce. Later, they had said that they were looking to fix things. However, one day before we were due to leave for the family camp they confirmed my worst fears. They wouldn't be staying together, and my dad would not be coming to camp with us. More like family minus one camp. Who is excited now? I sure wasn't. On Tuesday night of that week, we had just come to the dining hall after listening to a counselor share her faith story. Before I go any farther, I have to explain the deal about Pine Cove counselors first. Pine Cove counselors are all very godly role models in college. Oh, and they have really strange nicknames. These nicknames are given by certain senior workers, and they are all you know they counselor by till the end of the week. The counselor that I was approached by in the quiet dining hall was named Bearachute Pants. I don't know why. It's not the strangest counselor name I've heard. Bearachute Pants, who was called Pants for short, was the worship leader for the week. He had been leading us in worship songs before the other counselor had shared her story. Pants began asking me about my faith, and the conversation eventually steered to the point where I told him about my parents and their situation. Another perfect timing move from God was on the rise. Pants told me that his parents had divorced when he was a kid, and that he had heard that his mom had divorced his stepdad the same day I found out that my parent’s separation was final. Both divorces had hit Pants pretty hard, but God had expertly put him in position to help me. Pants told me that as we finished our time in the tiny chapel across the pond and got ready to head to the dining hall that God had told him to talk to me about Him. As usual, God was right on the mark. Pine Cove’s true beauty is seen in what Pants did the next day. No, he didn't pray all day or read the entire bible, he ran around with a Cheerios box on his head trying to be a talking donut. I kid you not. This expresses why Pine Cove and it’s counselors are so great. They can listen to God and give you the wisdom you need from Him one day, and try to dress up as a talking donut the next day. Another counselor, Digs, had to substitute for my father during Rite Night, a very deep father son talk. Digs also guided me through the feelings of my parent’s divorce, but earlier that day he was shoving people off of water rockets on the lake. My favorite part of Pine Cove and its counselors is the best living example of being in the world but not of it. The counselors sure know how to have fun, sometimes by freaking out new families by swinging on the dining hall ceiling, and they know how to do their job very, very, well. Pine Cove, as a whole, is something I am looking forward to experiencing again and again for many years to come. I also strive to be more and more like the counselors everyday. Not only do I want to be a Christian like them, but I also want to eventually be a Pine Cove counselor like them as well.
What I Think Heaven Will Be Like
By Patricia Sharon
We all know that no one truly knows what Heaven is like, but it can’t harm us to imagine. We can imagine the entrance, what it’s like to be in Heaven, and try to comprehend what it would be like to have eternal peace, and yet I feel we will never truly know until we are there. There are many things to try and think of when asking what Heaven will be like so I have decided to start painting my picture of words with the entrance. Graceful. The whole experience would be simply graceful. Angels ascending on all side and the gates would be beyond words known to humans, They would be gold, but not solid gold, depending on what angle you look at you would be able to see many colors reflect off to make a rainbow aurora. The walls and floor would shine and music with new notes, meaning and instruments would softly be playing all around as if projected from a speaker. It would be loud enough to consume you but just quiet enough not to distract you. The walls would have gorgeous swirls of color that you have never seen before and the floors would be smears of colors that looked like they were under glass. Then there would be a bright light and the music would get softer.
The light led to where the rest of your eternity would be spent. The birds would be singing and laughter would be all around because now the children can play forever. None of this would matter until you finally saw all the faces you knew. Of course you felt like you knew all the other people but these are the ones you have memories with. Everyone would be excited to see you because they know you’re here. They didn’t miss you, but it’s still nice to see you. Some people like your kids or your younger siblings wouldn't be there, but it wouldn’t make you sad because they were on earth and one day you would get to see them again, it's not like they are dead. You would talk for hours with your family and friends, go over inside jokes, and talk about what happened once they left earth.
Suddenly it would start to rain. It was a peaceful rain. The type of rain where you cuddle up in a blanket and read a book while drinking hot chocolate. The kids will splash in puddles with no worries of being sick or cold, and let's be honest we would all join them. Soon the sky would get dark, but when you look up there wouldn't be the sky we are used to. The sky on earth is breathtaking. A dark sky with flaming balls of fire that we grouped into categories such as the Big Dipper. But this, this is by far the most beautiful sky to ever be. So beautiful to the point it’s almost overwhelming. The sky was alive. Shooting stars rushing like fireworks and the colors once again something new. Random bursts of lights stood out against the so-purple-it’s-almost-black sky making the blood reds look darker and the streaks of blue faded into a light purple that which was blended with another streak of yellow. It was the type of beauty that made you proud of all the choices you ever made that led up to this point. Looking at the sky starts to give you that feeling where time is stopped and nothing matters except the one thing right here, right now, and it’s bittersweet because nothing in eternity will ever be so perfect.
Until the colors fade because now, the sun is moving to the sky, and pinks, reds, purples, oranges, and yellows mix in the sky blending so perfectly that nothing in all eternity will ever be so perfect. Suddenly the soft sound of a violin playing and a soft song with no words was sung. It wasn't meant to be deep and meaningful, no, it was meant for more. Every low note for the depths of the seas and every high note for the tops of the mountains. The voices of millions upon million singing not for themselves but for God. Nobody was singing the same tune, but somehow the harmony went together perfectly. Still staring at the sunrise in awe, a tune seemed to flow naturally from your mouth. A tune that might not have sounded nice, but that was meant for God who wouldn't care. Slowly your tear your eyes away from the most beautiful things to have ever been seen, and you find a couple walking hand in hand and you realize, no matter how beautiful the sky is, no matter how amazing the entrance is, the only thing that you will ever need to feel satisfied and happy, is something so simple. Love.
Love, amour, is breá, miłość, however you want to say it, is more than a word. Love is the ability to put someone's needs before yours and still make them happy while they make you happy. That's what you have in Heaven, love and happiness. You would get to do the things you love with no fear. The daredevil who died from a broken parachute, she is able to do everything she wasn't able to do on earth. The nurse who could never save enough people, he now gets to talk to all his patients that he can talk to. All the artists, of multiple types, now have more inspiration than they know what to do with. Scientists are able to study the extinct creatures that they never got to meet. And everybody is too busy loving everything and everyone to feel unhappy.
All of this gets better everyday. For all eternity. For an unexplainable amount of time, there is no time, no hate, no fear, no negativity. And there are too many words and feelings and images that I want to explain. Sadly, I’m limited to the mind of a living human so that will not be happening in this article. But that's ok, because I know that I am nowhere close to how amazing Heaven will be. You may have noticed I left out God and Jesus, though they are mentioned I do not write about direct contact with them. Ecclesiastes 8:17 says, “I realized that no one can discover everything God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people discover everything, no matter what they claim”. Humans were not meant to understand God, and while I have taken upon myself the task of describing my picture of Heaven, I will not describe such a divine figure as God. You also may have noticed my different tenses throughout reading this. I figured since the concept of time is limited to humans, it would be fun to use different tenses to show that Heaven is not chained to time as we are. I hope I was able to illustrate a picture as well as inspire different aspects to your version of Heaven.